Sunday, January 24, 2016

AUSTRALIA - ONLINE EXHIBITION

 Run Off Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


AUSTRALIA
ONLINE EXHIBITION

Relaunched
Australia Day 26 January 2017.

In 2016 I curated an online exhibition of my paintings where the continent of Australia is the 'landscape' or part of a more cosmic-like landscape. 

Between January 2016 and January 2017 I created a few more paintings that depict the Australian continent from various perspectives - melting, cut in half, targeted and more. So, I've added them to the online exhibition. The original exhibition displayed paintings in a chronology from the most recent to those from 2010. This is now updated!

POLITICAL - ENVIRONMENTAL - SOCIAL ISSUES
The images of the Australian continent can be 'read' many ways, but they each have a capacity to intersect with current political, environmental and social issues. 

For example:

Interregnum was painted in direct response to the Australian Federal election where a hung parliament seemed likely. 

Aeropolitics Imagined and What If? directly refer to Australia's position within broader global issues associated with accelerating developments in militarised technology and the blurring of civilian and military use of infrastructure and systems. The figure of the unmanned airborne drone features in this two paintings.

I'll leave it up to you now!

* Click on the hyperlinked titles or the images to be taken to the previous posts where I discuss each work.



 Australia Turned Upside Down Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


 Dissolving Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


 Interregnum Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


 Aeropolitics Imagined Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


What If? Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


Australian Landscape - Cutout Oil on linen 50 x 70 cm 2015
I include this 2015 in the updated exhibition because I had not included it in the original one.



ORIGINAL 2016 EXHIBITION 



[1] From The Other Side Gouache and Watercolour on Paper 30 x 42 cm 2016




AUSTRALIA

ONLINE EXHIBITION

 An exhibition of twelve paintings
completed between 2010

and 

Australia Day 26 January 2016


A few weeks ago I realised that over the years I have included the continent of Australia in many of my paintings. So, unlike my many landscape paintings which have been inspired by the Australian landscape, the paintings in this online exhibition all depict the Australian continent...as the landscape.



[2] Verso Watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016 



[3] Our Bright Future Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016
This painting was inspired by watching Kevin Slavin's fabulous TED talk
  How Algorithms Shape Our World. At one point he says "It's a bright future if you're an algorithm."



GENERAL STATEMENT 
I have curated the exhibition with the latest paintings first. As you scroll down you will see how the images have reflected my thoughts, concerns and inspirations over time. 

Cosmology*, space, existential risk posed by emerging technologies *, age-old symbols [especially the tree-of-life] and associated themes are inspirational triggers for my paintings. However, underlying all of these is a desire to explore and re-negotiate concepts of landscape. 

Taking a cosmological point of view, I am particularly interested in un-tethering landscape from Earth-bound horizons to create what I call 'cosmic landscapes'. By doing this I propose that new perspectives of Earth, our Universal environment and humanity's place within it are revealed. 

We describe other planets, moons etc in landscape terms, so 'landscape' as a descriptor has already escaped Earth's horizons. 


* Cosmology is the scientific study of the Universe across all temporal and spatial scales.
* Existential risk posed by emerging technologies is a relatively new multi-disciplinary research area with aims to identify risks, develop mitigation strategies and ultimately ensure that technological development is for the benefit of humanity. 


[4] Simulated Landscape Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016
Binary code 'instructs' Australia! Welcome to the post 21st century! 



AUSTRALIA - UNLEASHED

In my very recent Australia paintings I have unleashed Australia from Earth! The continent seems to float in Space? By reversing Australia, filling it with binary code and extracting it from the globe I've attempted to reveal new perspectives which, I propose, provoke questions about what it means to be an Australian in the 21st century. Indeed, what does it mean to be a human, even an earthling, in this cosmological and technological 21st century?  

Stephen Hawking, in the lead up to this year's Reith Lecture, which he is giving on the 26 January, has commented that this century is significant, because exponential technological development presents not only amazing benefits, but also potentially apocalyptic possibilities. If we are to avoid the latter we need to be very careful now ie: this century. Hawking echoes the concerns of cosmologist Lord Martin Rees who made similar provocative comments in his 2003 book Our Final Century.  I have previously written about Rees's marvelous book where he goes into various apocalyptic scenarios, that could result in the annihilation of humanity and more. Sobering stuff, but also motivational.

I propose that Rees's and Hawking's concerns make it clear that whether we are Australian or not, we share a planet called Earth with all other humans and living creatures. It is our only home for the foreseeable future, so let's look after it and get on with each other. 



EARLIER AUSTRALIA PAINTINGS 

My earlier Australia paintings, whilst landscapes, are also statements about the Australian environment and how we commoditise it. Hence, I have used small $ signs to paint water and in the case of Commoditised [No: 7] I have used small red $ signs to paint the entire continent. The tree-of-life, which I have used in a number of paintings in this online exhibition, creates land, sea and sky as it cascades across paintings. By juxtaposing $ signs with the tree-of-life questions about how we think about 'value' are asked.

I grew up on a grain farm on the Darling Downs, Queensland and then spent many of my adult years further west, living in Goondiwindi, which is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. These earlier paintings reflect my observations, over many years, of water and associated issues.


 BUT

Whilst the paintings in this AUSTRALIA Online Exhibition have varying degrees of political agency they are not simply didactic. Why? Because, whether I have filled Australia with a tree-of-life, binary code, $ signs, turned it back to front, cut it out of the globe...I hope the paintings are open-ended enough to stir your wonder and imagine too.




[5] Privileged Landscape Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2015


PRIVILEGED LANDSCAPE
I have Privileged Landscape hanging in my dining area and I love it. I know I am the artist, but this one stops me in my tracks, even for an instant, every time I see it. Why? It's not only because of the arresting colour, it's because it makes me think...and laugh a bit. 

There is more than one landscape in Privileged Landscape. There's the whole painting...a cosmic landscape. And, there's the Australian continent floating in Space and then there's the cutout of Australia, with the Universe visible on the other side. The umbilical-like blue string conjures all sorts of thoughts about global relationships, historical connections, cosmological awareness and more... 



[6] Murray Darling Currency Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm  2012


MURRAY DARLING CURRENCY
A tree-of-life cascades across the painting creating Australia and the surrounding seas. The Murray Darling Basin is painted in small blue $ signs, to represent questions of value. I am also playing with the term 'currency' which can be applied to water and money, plus political cache. 

I grew up in rural Queensland and spent many of my adult years even further west. This painting and others like it, are inspired by decades living in the country and being acutely aware of water issues. 


[7] Lifeblood Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2011


LIFEBLOOD
In Lifeblood Australia is part of a world map created with the help of a tree-of-life. The red is symbolic of the fact that no matter what colour our skin is, or what religion we follow [or not], we all have red blood flowing through our veins. We all ultimately return to the Earth too. 



[8] Commoditised Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm 2011



COMMODITISED
This painting is self explanatory. However, like my other $ paintings, the viewer is not initially aware of the small $ signs. From a distance they are not discernible, but they are when viewed up close. This is a deliberate tactic on my part...



[9] From Another Perspective Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2011


FROM ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE
As often happens when an artist reviews a body of their own work, I noticed a painting from 2011 that seems to herald my recent works. From Another Perspective depicts the Australian continent from both front and behind, or above or below, mirrored and not mirrored. The tree-of-life stands as a beacon of life. This painting was certainly the precursor of paintings done 3-5 years later. I can see that now...



[10] Underground Currency Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2010


UNDERGROUND CURRENCY
The area of the Great Artesian Basin, Australia's magnificent underground system of aquifers is painted in small blue $ signs. The word 'currency' in the title plays with ideas of water flow, money and political 'currency'. It also signifies that issues of water, and how we 'value' water, are current...contemporary topics



[11] Murray Darling Currency Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm [52 x 63 Framed] 2010


MURRAY DARLING CURRENCY [Above]
GAB: GREAT ARTESIAN BASIN [Below]
The work on paper above inspired the larger painting with the same title [No. 5 Murray Darling Currency above]. It is part of a series of paintings themed on water issues. Not all of them had $ signs
However, the one below has small $ signs symbolising the 'currency' of the great Artesian Basin! This painting inspired the large oil painting above called Underground Currency [No.10].

These two paintings are framed and look great hanging together.


[12] GAB: Great Artesian Basin Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm [ 52 x 63 cm Framed] 2010



 I hope you have enjoyed this small exhibition:

All these paintings are available for purchase.

If you are interested please contact me through my webpage



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Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

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